Data + Design Project

Presidential Glitches: Portrait Collages Through Time

Tuesday 11.20.2012 , Posted by
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With Obama voted in as the U.S. President for the next 4 years, now is the time to reflect on our learning from the past. In doing so we can better navigate the future and make choices which will benefit us both today and tomorrow. What better way to find inspiration and learning than from the memories of Presidents from the past – in this case with art inspired by them. Paris based Olivier Ratsi has created a series of glitchy, collage like portraits of past U.S. leaders which he calls Once Upon a Time the Presidents.

See Also Charis Tsevis: Beautiful Obama Posters from Greece

Ratsi creates the images in Photoshop using various portraits of the presidents which he dissects and then reassembles into blocky collages containing a number of faces at once. In slightly obscuring the identity of each president through this close juxtaposition, Ratsi’s images not only challenge us to identify the people portrayed, but also force us to compare their character from a new perspective.

“In Once Upon a Time the Presidents the project resonates with the current presidential election,” Ratsi tells the Creators Project. “I visually deconstruct the president, both past and present. Its aim is to generate a break with the meaning of the original items, to propose a new viewing angle and to provide the public a new field of experience, another way of looking at space and time.”

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Benjamin Starr

Written by Benjamin Starr



Known in some circles as the most amazing man in the universe, he once saved an entire family of muskrats from a sinking, fire engulfed steamboat while recovering from two broken arms relating to a botched no-chute wingsuit landing in North Korea. When not impressing people with his humbling humility, he can be found freelance writing, finding shiny objects on the internet, enjoying the company of much-appreciated friends and living out his nomadic nature. He is Managing Editor of Visual News. Follow his movements on Twitter:

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